Bigfoot the Stray

by: Joyce Ashamalla from Hinsdale Animal Hospital

BigFoot, a young adult female cat presented to the clinic with an extremely large right rear limb from hip to toe. The kind people that brought her in indicated that she was a stray cat that would spend time near their home, they noted the large limb, and brought her in. We explained to the potential owners that the large limb can be due to a broken bone, severe infection, trauma, amongst other possibilities. They agreed to radiographs which revealed the bones were not broken. We then explained that it is likely an extremely severe infection that we can attempt to treat with antibiotics. We gave an injectable two week duration antibiotic and hoped for the best. The next day, the infection culminated and the giant abscess ruptured revealing the severity of the necrotizing infection. We told the owner, it was in the cat's best interest to be hospitalized, given intravenous fluids and antibiotics and receive daily wound care/bandage changes. The kind people decided to go forth with the treatment and they will therefore keep the stray cat as their indoor pet once the hospital stay was over. After only 3 days of hospitalization, we were already seeing tremendous improvement. We then instructed the new owners that BigFoot will need to come in every other day for wound care, wet-to-dry bandage changes, hydrotherapy, and antiseptic cleansing/debriding until the wound heals which may take a very long time. They agreed! The results have been amazing! BigFoot is healing rapidly and we are almost there in just over a month.